My boyfriend and I are fairly rational people, yet we suffer from a case of avoidance. We’re both in two very different places in terms of earning and savings, as I’ve noted before. He has about $0 in savings while I have over $250k. He makes $80k sans benefits while I make $110k, for now. Neither of us are the smartest spenders. But facing reality is something that we both needed to do. Especially in terms of our food spending.
We eat out. A lot. We made a rule a while ago that whoever invites the other person pays. We don’t go to fancy restaurants but it still adds up. I am uncomfortable cooking in my kitchen with my roommates and his room doesn’t have a kitchen. I tend to spend about $600-$700 per month on food, including a few dates where I pay for both of us. But his $1200-$1500 monthly expenditure was the real shock.
I know I spend too much on food and am aware I should be spending much less, but I’m still managing to save a good $50,000 per year. Meanwhile, he goes out to eat a lot more than I do because he has no kitchen at all. He knew he was spending too much on food but was thinking it would be around $700 per month, not $1500 like last month.
While we look at apartments that are $1500 per month, it was a good reality check to understand how our food budget could easily cover our entire rent and leave enough over for groceries. It’s embarrassing to admit how much we are spending on food (we don’t even drink alcohol usually – it really is just food) – but it’s good to also see this as an area where we can drastically reduce our spending when we move in together.
Being as he’s an all-or-nothing type person, he now plans to reduce our food spending from $1500+ per month to under $400 per month. It will be an interesting project. I’d like us to focus on learning to cook and eating healthy. Obviously $1500 for a couple is off-the-charts ridiculous. What is a reasonable food budget per month for a couple trying to eat healthy and use fresh produce as often as possible? He read $15 per day max but that seems low to eat healthy… maybe it can be done if we buy in bulk. What are your thoughts?